Steve Jobs has left us.

I’m typing this blog on Thursday evening using an Apple MacBook. Earlier in the evening I was at the gym, with music supplied by an iPod Shuffle. Also today I have been reading a popular Christian paperback and an article from an academic journal – on an iPad. All that was missing was that I had to use my Blackberry to receive a phone call!

Steve Jobs had a major influence on contemporary life. Today his passing is mourned by people around the world. Some have compared him to Christopher Wren. Some have described him as a man who changed the world. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Dmitri Medvedev and David Cameron are among the people who have paid tribute to the man who did so much to transform the face of consumer technology.

Earlier this year I mentioned Steve Jobs in a blog post. I included some of his own reflections on death and dying.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

His comments were made in the context of an address at Stanford university. They are both brave in their recognition of the unavoidability of death and inspiring in their challenge not to waste life. The only pity is that they didn’t point to a hope beyond – and that is the hope that the Christian gospel brings through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Steve Jobs’ day has come. His impact has been made and will be felt far into the future. What will they say of us? Will they say that we wasted our time? Or that we used our lives to make a difference?


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